The first two years of German unification proved a sobering
experience as general euphoria gave way to the realization that
raising east Germany's productivity and living standards would take
longer and cost far more than expected. In this book, the authors
argue that policymakers were so preoccupied with fiscal problems
that they ignored east Germany's anemic production, inflated
employment, and decayed infrastructure. Politicians were unwilling
to confront constituents with the economic and human costs of
restructuring east Germany's economy and society. The authors
maintain that policy is still dominated by the idea that the east
will catch up quickly. They urge adoption of hard-headed
medium-term strategies so that west and east can grow closer and
enjoy economic growth. The book includes an extensive chronology of
economic and political events and resulting policies.
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